Originally published in the March edition of the Wave
The Moody Medical Library will undergo construction work this fall to repair first floor damage from Hurricane Ike and to upgrade the building’s infrastructure systems. Repairs to the first floor lobby will use flood-resistant materials and will include closing the atrium opening between the lobby and second floor. The library’s central core will be re-built on each floor to make the building more comfortable, energy efficient and user-friendly.
Part of the upgrade includes the creation of a new, rare book vault on the east side of the library’s third floor, with high-density storage and a new rare book reading room visible from the main reading rooms. This area will have separate temperature and humidity controls linked to the university’s emergency power grid to prevent damage to the collections if power is interrupted.
The library is coordinating closely with UTMB's Business Operations and Facilities division to develop construction schedules that will have minimal impact on library patrons. Once construction begins, the library will post regular signage and web site notices indicating construction locations and which areas of the library will be the most quiet and comfortable.
In order to create more study space, members of SGA met with Dr. Garland D. Anderson, executive vice president and provost, dean of medicine, to discuss possible changes to the library carrels for better study space. The mitigation and upgrade construction plans include the addition of individual study spaces and group study carrels on the fourth floor, which will be equipped with additional outlets for laptops and other electronic equipment. To accommodate more students, the partition wall has been cut down to expand the carrel to accommodate two students. The renovations to the carrels will take place on half of the carrels on the third floor.
A prototype of the library carrel can now be found on the fourth floor. UTMB's Student Government Association (SGA) is working with library personnel to incorporate student suggestions into the final version of the construction plan.
The library is looking forward to this opportunity to improve its facilities and welcomes comments, questions and suggestions.